When and how did you first learn about the Mumbai Film Festival?
Honestly, I was not aware of the MFF and learnt about it only when I was invited to be a jury member.
What made you agree to be part of the jury?
You know what? I was going to reject the invitation. But after I learnt who the other jury members were, there was no way I could turn it down. They were admirable filmmakers and I wanted to interact with them. They were big names and I was keen to know about them and their films.
You are the youngest jury member. Does that make you proud?
Am I the youngest on the panel? I did not know that. I don’t know if I should feel proud about that.
How would you compare the MFF to other international film festivals?
I like to watch films. Comparisons don’t occur to me at all.
Do you feel that film festivals are a good platform for amateur and aspiring directors?
Yes, absolutely! In fact, in the last few days, I have watched quite a few interesting films as a jury member. I am eager to watch other films too. I am keen to watch Indian films too. I haven’t watched any Indian films to date.
Does it help shape a director’s career?
Of course! It is a huge help. I have only two films to my credit, The Chaser and The Yellow Sea, and I consider myself an aspiring filmmaker. I am not really known and I am thankful to the MFF for this invitation. It is a huge honour. I am also glad that my film has been chosen to be screened here. Had it not been for this festival, nobody would know about The Yellow Sea.
Have you watched any films here?
I watched Hugh Hudson’s film and thoroughly enjoyed it. I also watched The Revolution and I did not miss The Yellow Sea (laughs). Being a jury member, I do not get enough time to watch other films.
What do you feel about Mumbai city? How has it treated you?
The city is very interesting though I have not got a chance to travel around here. The only travelling I do is from the hotel to the festival venue and back. But I have got very warm vibes from the people here. They make me feel at home.
What do you like about film festivals?
The fact that you get to watch different films from all over the world that you would not have been able to watch otherwise.
And don’t like?
Not having an option but to watch films, films and only films (laughs). And if the film is boring, I feel bad. But if the film is interesting, I feel that film festivals are really great.
Did you expect the kind of reception The Yellow Sea received?
No. I requested the audience to remain seated before the screening of my film started. Just kidding! (Laughs).